As a kid, Wouk was often intimidated on the rough roads of his neighborhood, however he located two safe safeties: his novels and his house. Herman Wouk once complained to his dad regarding the timeframe he was likely to examine the Talmud, an assortment of rabbinic discussions, and his dad answered, “I understand… but if I were on my deathbed, and I ‘d breath to mention yet another thing for you, I’d say ‘Study the Talmud.'” Finally Wouk took this advice to heart; Judaism would become essential to both his private life and his career.
During his time at Columbia, he edited the school’s comedy magazine, the Jester, and composed several variety shows. He immensely enjoyed working on comedic content. Upon graduation, he determined, “To hell with that sound [Judaism]. Iwill be a funnyman.” Wouk announced to his family he wished to be a comedian writer. By 1936, he was hired by comedian Fred Allen, who paid him $200 a week to compose gags and sketches. Although the work was successful, Wouk came to find it satisfying.
Wouk afterwards remembered his time in the navy as “the greatest experience of my life… I’d understood two worlds, the wise guys of Broadway as well as the wise guys of Columbia — two small worlds that occasionally take themselves for the entire world. In the Navy, I found out more than I ever had about individuals and about America. I’d always been a word son, and suddenly I needed to make do with all the strange, wonderful universe of the equipment.” Although just fascinated by technology, Wouk failed to abandon his love of words; off duty, he began work on his first novel, Aurora Dawn. In this time, Wouk also met Betty Brown, who later converted to Judaism to be able to wed him in 1946, and went by the name of Sarah Wouk.
Herman Wouk’s Aurora Dawn was released in 1947. It became a Book of the Month Club choice, introducing a large number of readers all over the united states to his writing. Wouk took this success as an indication he should compose full time. He later composed novels and plays, and even worked on the screenplay for the movie Slattery’s Hurricane. In 1954, it had been accommodated into both a significant motion picture, starring Humphrey Bogart, as well as a Broadway play, starring Henry Fonda, renamed The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. Although his next novel, Marjorie Morningstar, failed to have exactly the same success, it had been turned into a 1958 film starring Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly. Wouk’s first work of nonfiction, This is My God: The Jewish Lifestyle, was released in 1959 and planned to clarify Orthodox Judaism to Jews and non-Jews alike.
In the 1960s, Herman Wouk turned to historical matters, spending thirteen years studying World War II and the Holocaust to compose The Winds of War (1971) and War and Remembrance (1978). He considered the works to be “the story I must tell.” Both were accommodated into TV miniseries, for which Wouk wrote the screenplays as well as made cameo playing appearances. “The pictures of The Caine Mutiny and Marjorie Morningstar consistently appeared to me just thin skims of the narrative lines,” Wouk said, “and I never did see a meager Hollywood caper called Youngblood Hawke, vaguely centered on my 800-page novel. So it was that I selected for television, with its much more extensive time limits, for The Winds of War. Sixteen hours!”
These novels interweave actual and fictional characters. A strong supporter of the state of Israel, Wouk once wrote, “Zionism is a single long activity of lifesaving, of snatching great masses of folks from the course of certain extinction.”
In 2008, Wouk turned over all of his diaries to the Library of Congress. It was no small issue: Wouk were keeping journals since the 1930s, and his complete group numbered more than 90 volumes. The association subsequently granted him the initial Library of Congress Award for Life Achievement in the Writing of Fiction.
Now almost 100 years old, and faced with all the passing of his wife in 2011 due to some stroke, Wouk has still not given up writing. The novel investigates the play of human existence as well as the stage on which it takes place. Wouk describes, “This Is Actually the issue I Have been thinking about my lifetime.” He wished for the work to be “a novel telling of my spiritual beliefs in a framework of contemporary science, not always a Large One, however a work I felt created to provide the world. Not being a scientist whatsoever, I was a victim to dream of realizing this, but novelists are victims whose dreams every now and then take form, see the light, and last.”